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Are The Pill Bugs Around My Jasper Yard Dangerous?

pill bugs on a sidewalk

You've probably heard them called by several names - woodlice, pill bugs, or rolly pollies. Regardless of what you call them, they are a nuisance that can ruthlessly damage plant crops and landscaped yards. But are they safe? Well, unless you are a plant, they really can't harm you. Their positive purpose involves assisting in the decomposition process of wood and other organic debris, however, when their numbers grow too large, they can threaten the well being of plants in your yard. 

Normally with these little critters, the worst thing that can happen is that awkward moment when a guest in your house experiences a crunch underfoot when stepping on a pill bug that has found its way into your home. But other than the mild embarrassment that comes with having insects occasionally come inside your Jasper house, these little land crustaceans don't pose any great health threats.

What Are Pill Bugs?

Pill bugs are isopods, and though they do go by several different names, they are often mistaken for sowbugs. Pill bugs are black to a greyish metallic blue. They have seven sets of legs. They also have seven overlapping segments that make up their outer shell or cuticle. Their shell segments sometimes have while or yellow marks that, when observed closely, can look like characters from a foreign alphabet.

Pill bugs are often called rolly pollies because they roll into a tight ball when threatened. They belong to a group of isopods that are often referred to as the land crustaceans. They're found in firewood and in between boards stacked outside.
People often mistake pill bugs for sowbugs. Both species feed off decaying matter and look somewhat alike, however, there are some notable differences. Sowbugs cannot roll up into a tight ball. Sowbugs also have posterior appendages that pill bugs lack. 

What Do Pill Bugs Eat?

Like other pests that invade your home or property, pill bugs need moisture to survive. That's why they favor landscaped yards. They might wander into your home during rainy days, but they prefer to live in moist soil. Overall, they try to keep outdoors in decomposing leaves or underneath logs or rocks. 
Though pill bugs can be a beneficial part of the ecosystem, they will eat green stems and girdle new plants. This kills them very fast. Many property owners have lost plants to these little insects, and therefore, homeowners try to keep their population under control. They mostly eat dead or decaying matter but will destroy vegetable and potato plants recklessly if left unchecked. Even many kinds of ornamental plants are at risk of a pill bug infestation.  

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Pill Bugs

There are several over-the-counter baits that target pill bugs. Home remedies such as ant poison, diatomaceous earth, sticky traps, or borax may seem like a good idea but proceed with caution. If used inappropriately, these options are hazardous to your health or the health of your loved ones. Furthermore, these home remedies often prove ineffective after frequent use.

In the end, the professionals at Action Pest offers options that address pill bugs as well as many other unwanted pests that threaten your home, your yard, and your garden.

If you are experiencing unexplained plant damage in your Jasper yard, contact our experts at Action Pest Control today. We will answer all of your questions and work with you to come up with a plan that works!